A long over due linkfest of unusual, overlooked and provocative pieces:

86% of all mortgages are taxpayer backed in some form or another (Washington Post)

Good Billions After Bad (Vanity Fair) As the Bush administration waned, the Treasury shoveled more than a quarter of a trillion dollars in tarp funds into the financial system—without restrictions, accountability, or even common sense. The authors reveal how much of it ended up in the wrong hands, doing the opposite of what was needed.

Study Says World’s Stocks Controlled by Select Few

The FT has a counterpoint to Krugman’s Sunday’s NYT magazine article: Why some economists could see the crisis coming (FT) From the beginning of the credit crisis and ensuing recession, it has become conventional wisdom that “no one saw this coming”. But in fact, many had seen it coming for years. They were ignored by an establishment that, as the former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan professed in his October 2008 testimony to Congress, watched with “shocked disbelief” as its “whole intellectual edifice collapsed”.

Michael Moore declares all-out war on capitalism (LA Times)

The Sorry Tale of America’s Out-of-control Spending (The American) At the end of fiscal 2008, which came on September 30 of last year, the American national debt stood at $9.6 trillion. That sum is, perhaps, quite beyond the imagining of most people. It is, after all, 250 million times the average per capita income. Even the total fortunes of the entire Forbes 400 list add up to less than 15 percent of it. To use a journalistic measure that dates back to the late 18th century—when the British national debt had become a major political issue in that country—if you laid 9.6 trillion silver dollars end to end, they would reach to the sun and back, with enough left over to wrap around the Earth more than 1,700 times.

The Right Health Care Fix Could Help Save Social Security (RGE)

Elizabeth Warren says,Turn up the heat on non-bank lenders” (New Deal 2.0) Despite widespread agreement about the problem, the U.S. has never made a sustained, systemic effort to regulate non-bank lenders. As lending abuses became more obvious, there was no effort to close regulatory gaps and loopholes or to devote federal resources toward the oversight of non-bank institutions.

•  The Fall edition of H+ magazine is out

Nano Air Vehicle (Darpa) See cool video here

That’s my 10.

Anything worthwhile that I may have overlooked?

Category: Financial Press

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

45 Responses to “New Week, New Links”

  1. Mannwich says:

    Taibbi on the ongoing health care debacle and how we got here….


  2. call me ahab says:

    from the Michael Moore link- that dude is starting to grow on me-

    in the documentary- Moore- “attempts to make a citizen’s arrest of AIG executives, and puts tape around the New York Stock Exchange building, declaring it a crime scene. ”

    no doubt- he has my respect just for that alone

  3. call me ahab says:

    manny- from your link-

    “While the White House publicly eschewed any concrete “guiding principles,” the People Who Mattered [the insurance industry] . . . had already long ago settled on theirs. Those principles seem to have been: no single-payer system, no meaningful public option . . .and a very meaningful mandate for individual consumers. In other words, the only major reform with teeth would be the one forcing everyone to buy some form of private insurance, no matter how crappy, or suffer a tax penalty. If the public option is the sine qua non for progressives, then the “individual mandate” is the counterpart must-have requirement for the insurance industry.”

    unconscionable – as i have been saying- if anyone has been paying attention- this is what i have feared-

    insurance companies win- rest of America loses-

  4. Mannwich says:

    @ahab: It’s precisely what I have long feared would happen and what you’ve been saying for weeks now as well. It’s a tragedy of epic proportions unfolding. Certainly not the “Change” I “can believe in”.

  5. Mannwich says:

    I am starting to get truly fearful (and NOT ROOTING for this to happen by any means) that we’re headed for some major public violence in the coming months/years. People are seething and getting angrier and angrier at many different things. That’s the issue. There so much of it from many different corners/angles, it will be hard to contain if unleashed. Sometimes that anger is misguided and not informed, for sure, but it should not be dismissed. It’s real and not just on the right either. It’s everywhere you look. Progressives and Independents are starting to bail on Obama everywhere.

  6. call me ahab says:

    another great quote from the manny’s link-

    “health care reform will simply force great numbers of new people to buy or keep insurance of a type that has already been proved not to work. “The IRS and the government will force people to buy a defective product,” says Woolhandler. “We know it’s defective because three-quarters of all people who file for bankruptcy because of medical reasons have insurance when they get sick — and they’re bankrupted anyway.”

    and the fact that the IRS is involved- even better [snark]-

    this whole legislation is off the rails- i say one payer or nothing- it is not insurance that is needed- it is health care that is needed- it is not an employee benefit- it is helping those who need care-

    what a debacle this legislation has become- a travesty

  7. Pete from CA says:

    China on USD, gold:


    ‘”Gold is definitely an alternative, but when we buy, the price goes up. We have to do it carefully so as not to stimulate the markets,” he added. The comments suggest that China has become the driving force in the gold market and can be counted on to buy whenever there is a price dip, putting a floor under any correction.’

  8. leftback says:


    Madoff Feeder funds. I wonder what exactly they could do to generate cash to repay investors? Liquidation….

  9. VennData says:

    D.C. Current – J. McTague – Barrons.com

    “…People with broad employer coverage have an illusion that others pay for their care…”


    How American Health Care Killed My Father


  10. call me ahab says:

    i will 2nd venndata’s link to the atlantic article-

    onlooker and mregan posted it as well a night or two ago-

    well worth reading

  11. Mannwich says:

    @ahab: The more I think about it, the more it becomes clear that our labyrnthe-like health care system is very comparable to our financial system in that both are parasites that are sucking the very life-blood out of the economy and country when those same resources could have been, and still be, used for more productive activities for the short and long term.

  12. Lugnut says:

    ” Michael Moore declares all-out war on capitalism (LA Times)”

    And no doubt, he is charging people for the privelege of watching his screed against the capitalism, yes?

    One wonders if Dog Eat Dog Films (the production company), and Overture Films International (the US distributor) share his views on the evils of garnering more than a break even point on your sales. Perhaps they’ll worry about that if they hit the recoup point first. Call me wehn he donates all his profits to Chavez, then you’ll have a story.

  13. jeff in indy says:

    ah, mr. moore is back. seems to me he’s made a butt-load of money in what use to be our quasi-capitalist society. it’s easy to be a socialista (or whatever other ‘ista’ you want to be) if you’re dirt poor or, like mr. moore, filthy rich. it’s us minions in the middle that end up picking up the tab, eh?

  14. Thor says:

    Manny – excellent article. Long article, but a definite good read if anyone is interested.

    Manny & Ahab – I agree with you both. I would be surprised if we see some larger social movements (disturbances) from both sides of the political spectrum in the coming years. Would be nice if, in the ashes of this, we end up with a viable third party.

  15. call me ahab says:


    “And no doubt, he is charging people for the privelege of watching his screed against the capitalism, yes?”

    man’s gotta make a livin’ – LOL

    fair point – but i think michael moore has been on message in that he is against large corporations specifically- not that movie studios aren’t large- but he probably looks on himself as an “artist” and the studios as providing entertainment and education-

    all for $10 a ticket

  16. Thor says:

    10 dollars a ticket? Man you’re lucky!

  17. jr says:

    Free preview of Chapter 2 from Ron Paul’s most recent tome, “End The Fed” – http://mises.org/story/3687

  18. call me ahab says:


    i am certian that there are many,many others who feel the same as we do- that they are being railroaded-by monied interests and their control over congress

  19. VennData says:


    Regarding your “I am starting to get truly fearful” do not worry the gov’t run and operated police department will knock heads. The gov’t run judicial system will put them away into the gov’t run prisons.

    Thank goodness for gov’t

    P.S. Hey that hat looks nice on you. “Tin” is your color.

  20. Cunning Linguist says:

    @ call me ahab “from the Michael Moore link- that dude is starting to grow on me”

    But notice how that demagogic hypocrite won’t dare touch Goldman Sachs — he needs his kneecaps intact….

  21. Mannwich says:

    @VD (apt moniker): I don’t wish for this to happen. I can just feel the mood turning in this country. Nothing “tin foil” about that. Make fun all you want, VD. Pull up a chair. Things are just getting started.

  22. leftback says:

    “Progressives and Independents are starting to bail on Obama everywhere.”

    This is somewhat true, and if the banksters and health insurance pirates are not brought into line soon, it will be a full-scale departure. The left is pretty disgusted with the Tiny Tim-Larry the Lounge Lizard double act. This team hasn’t yet done one thing for responsible American savers except ask them to bend over. Wonder what’s going to happen after the next market crash? We assume this will be equities – because a bond market crash would be too awful to contemplate, yes? Already trying to imagine how the next round of bank recapitalization might possibly be achieved after investors get burned again.

  23. Thor says:

    Ahab – one correction to your post Monied interests and Congress aren’t two separate things these days ;-)

  24. call me ahab says:

    lb says-

    “Already trying to imagine how the next round of bank recapitalization might possibly be achieved after investors get burned again.”

    excellent question- as quietly as possible- full out money creation magically appearing in the banks accounts?

  25. Mannwich says:

    @leftback: Bingo. And yet I’m labelled with the “tin foil hat” moniker. Good grief. Getting mocked for the telling the truth. We’re back to ’06-’07 all over again.

  26. leftback says:

    That’s not much different from the bailouts, except that the bailout money was replaced by trading profits, earnings from the steep yield curve, and “bargain” stock purchases by Johnny Retail. This time.

  27. mcHAPPY says:

    Here is my two cents for what is going on today:

    Late last week, today, and quite possibly/more than likely the next couple of days is the final pump. Have a look at this:


    “The drop in credit in July is re-writing the record books.”

    Credit contracted 5 times the expectation. What happens in a credit based system sees credit contract this much especially after months of contracting credit? What happens to August numbers? A remarkable rebound? Probably not but nothing is surpring me these days.

    Someone made reference earlier in another thread as to watching one hand while the other one does the trick. Well this is the trick – gold and oil took off and the dollar cringed while credit numbers show the truth. Things are about to get ugly. No, no, no, no, no, scratch that. Things are about to get fugly…. real fugly.

    As I stated Friday, this is the final pump to get the last of the hopeless romantics, bulls, fence sitters, whatever you want to call them in to the markets before the curtain is pulled back, the easy money is swept off stage, and the curvaceous sexy dancers with the back light behind them turns out to be Ben, Larry (Summers or Kudlow, take your pick), Tim, Cramer, and Beaker in strategically stuffed bikinis. Wait until everyone in the room goes limp, rips their eyes out of their head, and runs for the door. It should be exciting – no, not Ben and the gang, the market reaction.

    The game is rigged and fundamentals do not seem to matter. My patience for this farce is running thin. The manipulation we are seeing before our very eyes is disgusting and insulting to anyone who gives half a shit and puts an ounce of effort in to seeing what is really going on.

    And so ends my rant. THank you for your patience.

  28. leftback says:

    “We’re back to ‘06-’07 all over again”.

    True. Except that the cheerleaders are now clearly pigs wearing lipstick. Miss Piggy has replaced Goldilocks.
    One day we’ll look back on this period and laugh. Hell, LB is already laughing at the mendacity and naïveté.

    Manny, right now everyone’s feeling good and showing off their tan from the beach and their new wheels from the Cash for Clunkers program – economic pessimism is so not in style. But things are going to change after the first frost of the season, about the time that first monthly payment comes due on the car and the oil tank gets filled.

  29. Mannwich says:

    I’m sticking with my October (maybe Nov/Dec at the latest) call as to when it all falls apart again. The Fall in the fall Part Deux.

  30. leftback says:

    McHAPPY: Top rant, dude – ROTFLOL on the “dancing girls”….

    Manny: Andrew Cuomo is one of about three people who give me hope for the future of this country. Wall Street heads need to roll this winter, we need to see perp walks, or there is going to be a tremendous amount of anger.

  31. Graveltongue says:

    I liked this one from The Economist and the link to the Royal Academy of Engineers report.


  32. Graveltongue says:

    From me too @ McHAPPY – fab rant, big cheesy grin for you.

  33. Bruce in Tn says:


    I think this is the biggest news in weeks. If, for the last decade and longer, debt was effectively our money, how can anyone expect a rebound if we are paying down debt at an increasing clip? Increased sales of Apple notebooks this Christmas compared with 2008? I don’t think so.

    By the way, Barry, I got a new computer at work, and can’t get your website to send me a new password to the new computer even though it is the same e-mail address. Will you send me a cookie to either of my e-mail addresses so I can blog at lunch?

    B in T

  34. jeg3 says:

    Now we know why BR sometimes has cognitive challenges when writing the blog,
    The wife stopped by for a visit. Hopefully he’s not making any big financial
    decisions at those times, just look what happened to Lehman, AIG & Citi.


  35. bergsten says:

    If Michael Moore was indeed running police tape around the exchange (and it wasn’t CGI or some such), one wonders what those guys patrolling outside with the German Shephards were doing? How come he didn’t get bit? Bitten? Bite-ed?

    I bet I know what would have happened if one of US tried it.

    Seems that even amongst the radicals, some pigs are more equal than others.

  36. Onlooker from Troy says:


    I hear ya. I saw this sentiment elsewhere and couldn’t agree more. We need a cleansing in order to get back to some semblance of a functional market and society.
    “The stock market crash of 2008-2009 seems to have accomplished nothing. I was always hoping for a crash because since 1995 a speculative trader mentality infected most of society. It was seen in stocks, real estate and now again in stocks.

    I was hoping for pain. I was tired of seeing the best mathematical minds join Wall St. It was saddening to see a lot of business school grads lose the desire to build great companies because the reward/effort ratio was so tilted toward the world of finance.

    After the inevitable crash, I was hoping that a rational builder/owner mentality would become the norm laying a foundation for a sustainable economy and prosperity.

    It didn’t happen.

    This current rally feels like momentum traders are dominating once again. I feel like puking when I overhear my dentist or graphic artist bragging about how much money they have made recently by day trading.

    Nothing has been learned. Nothing has changed. My gut tells me that we are being set up for an even larger crisis (whatever form that takes) in order to restore the moral order of free market capitalism.”

  37. Onlooker from Troy says:


    I love a study that validates the obvious. :) These guys really think they’re on to something new?!

    Why do they think spy agencies have used gorgeous girls since the dawn of time? Many other examples: con artists, pickpockets, business. I’m glad somebody’s studying it and documenting the particulars though. /rolls eyes/

  38. tenaciousd says:

    Am I the only one who thinks homeowners are the biggest kcufing mooches on the planet?

  39. kcreeden says:


    Unlike the FRENZIED interaction of two talking heads talking about the health care agenda they represent, this is a well thought-out piece on Health Care in the US